Pretoria News

Hani’s killer to remain in prison

- ZELDA VENTER zelda.venter@inl.co.za

THE KILLER of SACP leader Chris Hani, Janusz Walus, has lost his bid for leave to appeal the refusal of his release on parole in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Judge Elizabeth Kubushi, sitting in the high court in Pretoria and who earlier turned down the bid for parole, said there was no prospect of success in the Supreme Court.

Walus had asked for leave to appeal the entire judgment and order handed down by Judge Kubushi.

His legal team argued that apart from them believing that the Supreme Court would rule in his favour, they believed that his constituti­onal rights were trampled on by his further incarcerat­ion.

This month marked the 28th year Walus has spent at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correction­al Centre following the 1993 assassinat­ion of Hani.

He was arrested shortly after the killing in April and sentenced in October that year.

He was initially given a death sentence, but when this form of punishment was abolished by the government, his sentence was automatica­lly converted into life behind bars.

In refusing his applicatio­n to be released on parole, Judge Kubushi earlier said the argument that his further incarcerat­ion amounted to cruel and degrading punishment was unsustaina­ble.

In the leave to appeal applicatio­n, she said judges may only grant this if they were of the opinion that there was a chance the appeal may succeed. In this case, she said, there was no such chance.

She said the reasons advanced for the leave to appeal had been fully canvassed in her main judgment.

In turning to court once again, Walus’s counsel earlier told the judge that after all these years in jail and several fruitless attempts to obtain parole, it was time for the court to decide on the issue.

It was submitted that Walus had paid his dues, had genuine remorse for what he had done, and over the years rehabilita­ted and became a model prisoner.

In opposing parole, Justice Ronald Lamola’s legal team argued that Hani was a historical figure.

They questioned why Walus had only expressed his remorse for the assassinat­ion 20 years after the incident, when he for the first time applied for parole.

The SACP’s counsel argued for the party and widow Limpho Hani that this was a crime unlike many others in the country.

The court was told that Hani did not accept Walus’ apology, nor did she or the SACP accept that he had any remorse. They maintained that he had to remain behind bars.

In asking the court earlier to dismiss Walus’s applicatio­n, Limpho Hani had set out her reasons in a 48-page affidavit.

She said it was her right not to accept his apology and no one could force her to forgive her husband’s killer.

Counsel for Walus argued that he had time and again expressed his remorse and he was regarded as a model prisoner by the officials.

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